After a brilliant Tour de France in 2019, Julian Alaphilippe went to Yorkshire with the favorite sign but also a state of fatigue incompatible with the slightest ambition for a rainbow jersey. In the rain and on a difficult track, the leader of the France team finished in an anonymous 28th place, far from world champion Mads Pedersen. This Friday, at a press conference, the rider of the Deceuninck-Quick Step team said he wanted to learn the lessons of previous years. “Last year, we didn’t know how to get a good result but I think that, collectively, we had a good race so I won’t consider it a failure,” Julian Alaphilippe told the press. . I am now focused on Sunday and we will apply the lessons learned from previous years with the hope that it will help us. It is an additional chance. “
Alaphilippe: “The race will be very different compared to the Tour”
When announcing his selection, on the sidelines of the last stage of the Tour de France, Thomas Voeckler insisted on the idea that the French team is not a favorite but only an outsider full of ambition. Julian Alaphilippe did not want to contradict his coach, betting on the specificity of a race like the world championships. “We are underdogs but that doesn’t mean we don’t have ambition. The Slovenes and many others are able to make the race difficult and win, but I think the race will be very different from the Tour de France, says the former wearer of the yellow jersey. The world championships are always a different race. A lot of runners can win so it’s hard to isolate a favorite. Less prominent on the Tour de France compared to last year, Julian Alaphilippe claims to have managed his efforts on the Grande Boucle and tackles the Worlds, on a route that seems to suit him, in better shape. “I rested well, I think I was able to recover for Sunday’s race and I am very happy with the layout after having recognized it,” confides the Habs. It’s going to be a very difficult, demanding race. “
This year, Alaphilippe does not fear the rain
A race where one of the surprise guests could be … the rain. But, while the weather cost him a lot in Yorkshire last year, this element could be less prevalent according to Julian Alaphilippe. “I’m less afraid of the rain than last year. The forecast announces a little rain at the end of the day and it does not suit like that, entrusts the leader of the team of France. If that happens, the rain will make the circuit more dangerous and difficult but it will not have major consequences from a physical point of view. “In view of the circuit, very demanding by the repetition of efforts, Julian Alaphilippe does not expect a race of movement but an explosive final. “You can imagine a lot of different scenarios but I think everything will be concentrated in the final and the race will be decided in the last kilometers, he assures us. On such a difficult circuit, I don’t see a breakaway going very far. While Anna van der Breggen made the difference 40 kilometers from the finish this Saturday in the women’s road race, such a scenario could be difficult to reproduce given the density of the start list.